The University of North Carolina at Pembroke has a rich history unlike any other institution of higher education. As it marked 130 years of service, the university commissioned a ceremonial mace befitting the distinctiveness and importance of UNC Pembroke. Showcasing the work of local artists, the mace celebrates the university’s heritage, mission and sense of place, including its indelible ties to the Lumbee people and southeastern North Carolina.
Atop the four-foot mace is a 13-inch red-tailed hawk, UNCP’s mascot. The hawk’s dual positon – taking flight or landing – symbolizes UNC Pembroke students taking flight to soar into the future and alumni who return home to reconnect with their alma mater.
The hawk is plated in 24 karat gold. The gold-plated pinecone footer pays tribute to the longleaf pine tree. Ed Walker sculpted the hawk and the pinecone. His foundry, Carolina Bronze Sculpture cast all the bronze elements of the mace.
The staff, which was crafted of wood sourced from the Lumber River basin, is adorned with the university seal, tobacco leaves, pine needle basket weave and pinecone patchwork designs.
The academic mace symbolizes the university’s governing authority. It is carried by the faculty grand marshal during convocation and commencement.
Chancellor Robin Gary Cummings said each detail of the mace tells the story of the 130-year-old institution. It also serves as a symbolic link to previous generations.
To view a video about the making of the mace click here.